With a long report in the Travel section of The New York Times, Michael Frank tries to explain why Genoa is such a captivating destination describing the secrets of a city that is still to be fully discovered.
“Genoa is not Florence, Rome or Venice. There is no predigested list of must-see attractions or must-do activities, no romantic watery lagoons, no birth of the Renaissance to chase after. Its tourist infrastructure might be summed up as less is more. The city invites — in fact, it requires — you to have your own experience. And it repays the effort.”
Frank cites Mitchell Wolfson Jr, the American tycoon who arrived in Genoa in 1968, fell in love with it, and donated his art collection to the city council: “Once Genoa gets inside of you, it cannot be purged. Genoa has a heart and soul like no other.” The mystery, the authenticity, the particular food and dialect, a disillusioned view of the world and a fierce past, Genoa conquers tourists because it does not reveal itself all at once, and never really all the way. From the Banco di San Giorgio, to the Genoa soccer team, from Marco Polo to Cristoforo Colombo, the precious, historical stratification, overlaps with the physical one that sees the city developing both horizontally, along the coast, and vertically, multiplying the possibilities of exploration.
Ariel Dello Strologo, chairman of the Porto Antico and of the Genoese Jewish community, interviewed in the report, says that Genoa, with its countless treasures – the De Albertis Castle, Palazzo Rosso and Palazzo Bianco, Sea Museum, the Aquarium, the restaurants, the design shops, and the ice-cream parlors –, delights with what in it is antique and amazes with what in it is new.
Ilona Catani Scarlett